You may look forward to the blooming flowers and leafy trees of summer. But if you experience seasonal allergies, those lovely trees and plants may trigger your symptoms. That's due to pollen, a fine powder produced by grasses, weeds, and trees.

Pollen is completely safe, but if you have seasonal allergies, your body may mistake pollen for a threat and trigger your immune system to respond. Coughing, a runny or stuffy nose, and itchy, watery eyes are common symptoms.

Here at Southern ENT Associates, our ear, nose, and throat doctors and allergy specialists routinely evaluate, diagnose, and find the best and most effective solutions for allergies of all types. Keep reading to learn more about what’s triggering your symptoms.

Common seasonal allergy triggers

It’s easy to mistake allergy symptoms for the common cold. Seasonal allergies, though, typically last for more than a week or two, unlike a typical cold. 

Consult with an allergy specialist if you experience allergy symptoms and are looking for relief. We can perform a skin test or allergen-specific blood test to determine the type of pollen you’re allergic to. 

Here are some of the most common triggers for seasonal allergies:

Tree pollen

Here in the southern United States, trees begin to produce pollen as early as January, and many trees continue producing pollen through June. Trees that tend to cause the most allergy symptoms include the following:

  • Alder
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Cedar
  • Elm
  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Willow

Trees produce a light, dry pollen that the wind can carry for miles. It can blow your way and cause an allergic reaction even if you don’t live very close to the offending trees.


Grass allergies are very common, bringing on itchy, watery eyes, red eyes, runny nose, stuffiness, and sneezing. Although it is much less common, some people also develop skin rashes after coming into contact with grasses. 

Grass typically pollinates in the late spring. Common grasses here in the South include Bermuda and Bahia. 


Ragweed belongs to the daisy family and is distinguished by its fern-like, leafy appearance. Ragweed plants produce a lot of pollen — roughly a million pollen grains per plant per day — so it's understandable why so many people experience allergic reactions to it.

Mold spores

You might be allergic to mold or other fungi if your allergy symptoms last for several seasons. There are molds everywhere. Mold spores can enter the air when a mold source is disturbed.

Mold spores fly through the air and spread easily in windy conditions. Some people experience allergic reactions after inhaling the spores. 

Molds are most bothersome from July to the beginning of fall. However, since mold can grow both indoors and outdoors, allergic reactions can occur all year long.

Only a small number of the numerous varieties of mold that exist can cause allergic reactions. During the winter, the majority of outdoor molds go dormant. 

Tips to reduce exposure

Pay attention to your local weather forecast, although even experts have difficulty predicting the severity of an allergy season. To avoid or ease seasonal allergy symptoms:

  • Spend as much time as possible indoors when pollen counts are at their highest 
  • Put on a face mask when working outside
  • Use an air conditioner and shut your windows
  • Wear wraparound glasses to keep pollen out of your eyes
  • Avoid gardening tasks that could stir up allergens
  • Keep the grass cut short
  • Rinse off to get pollen off of your skin and hair
  • Brush your pets after they've been outside 

Alleviating seasonal allergy symptoms

At Southern ENT Associates, we might advise saline rinses to relieve nasal congestion or antihistamines to stop itchy eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. 

Decongestants, which can ease congestion, are a component of some antihistamines, but not everyone should take them. 

We may also recommend a nasal steroid spray or allergy shots. By lessening your immune system's response to a particular pollen or other allergen over time, injections can offer long-term relief.

Allergy symptoms are more than a mere annoyance. Untreated allergies can interfere with a good night’s rest, making it difficult to concentrate in school or be productive at work. 

Take action today to get relief. Call our nearest office to schedule a visit. We have clinics located throughout southern Louisiana, in Thibodaux, Houma, Raceland, Morgan City, New Iberia, and Youngsville.

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